Bost continues push for truck parking
February 1, 2023
The problem is well known. There is not enough truck parking.
There’s a solution. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., worked with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to draft the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, which would dedicate $755 million over four years to the creation of new truck parking.
The bill has bipartisan support and passed the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last year.
However, the bill still has not become law.
Speaking at a House T&I hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 1, Bost expressed his frustration.
“The trucking industry has recognized the difficulties to find parking … and it’s a major challenge for professional drivers due to the lack of capacity,” Bost said. “Studies show that truck drivers spend 56 minutes per day searching for a parking place. Clearly, that’s a major inefficiency in our supply chain … It’s a problem that can be fixed, and I thought we were going to get it done last year.”
As the House T&I committee held its first hearing of the 118th Congress, work began to get Bost’s truck parking bill across the finish line.
“This is not a partisan issue,” said American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear, who testified at the hearing titled “The State of Transportation Infrastructure and Supply Chain Challenges.” “Anybody can drive out of the beltway here and see trucks resting at on and off ramps. Why? Because they are required by federal law to take breaks. When those breaks come up and they don’t have a place to park, they’re going to look for the next best thing. This is a safety issue – not just for drivers … It’s also a safety issue for the motoring public. Getting them safe, secure, well-lit parking is a no-brainer.”
ATA and OOIDA, who are often on opposite sides of trucking issues, worked together last year on a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, outlining the need for truck parking.
“We sent a joint letter from ATA and OOIDA,” Spear said. “I think that makes a statement. We are in this together. This is an issue that impacts you whether you’re an owner-operator or a full fleet. We all need parking.”
The hearing also marked Rep. Sam Graves’ first as chairman of the T&I committee.
His opening remarks focused on the implementation of the 2021 infrastructure law.
“America has a vast transportation network that is essential to the nation’s economic competitiveness, the movement of people and goods both nationwide and globally, and is integral to Americans’ quality of life,” Graves said. “Although I did not support Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, I accept that it is the law of the land. What we have to do is make sure Congress and this Committee ensure the money from IIJA is spent responsibly and is directed toward making our nation’s transportation supply chain more efficient and resilient.” LL